Naga Shaurya will next be seen in the film Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammai. Srinivas Avasarala, who is known for his heart-warming films, is directing this rom-com. Malvika Nair plays the female lead. Produced by People Media Factory in association with Dasari Productions, the film releases on March 17. Ahead of the premiere, we had a brief interaction with Srinivas Avasarala and here’s the transcript.
How realistic will the film be?
I don’t want my characters to speak routine dialogue. I generally watch a lot of independent films. The characters in these movies will be very realistic. Someone seems to pick up a camera and start filming while the characters continue to talk to each other. It looks very realistic. I felt I had to try such movies. Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammai has a simple story which is closer to people.
What new about Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi?
You have to see it only on the big screens. Generally, when Naga Shaurya and I join hands, people think we are doing a film like Oohalu Gusagusalade. But Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi will not look like a scripted film. Instead, it is a realistic attempt to explore human behavior on screen without relying on dialogues, accents and comedy.
Why do you take long career breaks?
After Oohalu Gusagusalade in 2014, I started writing Jyo Achyuthananda in 2016. It usually takes me a year to write on my own. I started Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi in 2019. We faced few problems while shooting in US and UK due to Covid. Our team faced visa issues and so it took time to complete the shoot.
What is your experience of working with Naga Shaurya?
Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi has seven chapters, each 20 minutes long. The lead pair will be seen in different time slots and ages. Naga Shaurya has to work so hard to get a teenage look. However, he must also appear as a 28-year-old. The movie has been shot beautifully and Naga Shaurya is very confident about the success of the movie.
How did you bring Malvika Nair on board?
I explained each scene to Malvika while narrating. She reacted emotionally and I saw a personal connection on her face. Even the lock scene was already there in the script and it’s not the way I narrated it on set. Since there was a gap due to Covid, I had to remind her of this scene again. When actors know the reason behind these scenes and the circumstances that led to it, they are sure to go the extra mile to give their best.
What is the genre of the movie?
It’s a love story. It’s a boy-meets-girl story and how the lead couple takes their relationship forward. The difference works in the film’s favor, thankfully. There are 7 seven chapters that need variations. If I had shot one after the other, the expected look would probably have been missed. Covid, in a way, helped me. Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi has no twists. Instead, it’s an emotional love story.
Could you tell us about your future projects?
I have a story that is ready with me, but it has not reached the stage of telling. I haven’t decided the actors yet. Nani and I are keen to work together and are planning a film soon. Apart from this, I am also working on a web series called Kanyasulkam starring Anjali, Naresh, Murali Sharma and Varsha Bolama. It will be out next month.